With the Rockets and Heat squaring off in Miami tonight, there will be only three unbeaten teams left in the NBA come morning. But, for now, we still have four. Yes, we’re only one week into the 2014/15 season. But, considering that none of these four teams are among the Vegas favorites to win it all this season, wouldn’t it be fun to see which of them has the best shot? So let’s hear it. Of the Heat, Grizzlies, Rockets and Warriors, which has the best chance at winning the NBA championship this season?
- Heat (3-0): Now don’t laugh. LeBron James may have left South Beach, but his departure seems to have energized Chris Bosh. The lefty has averaged over 25 points in the team’s first three games and Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng have worked well as Miami’s second and third fiddles. While the Heat might seem like the worst choice on this list, at least they have the luxury of playing in the Eastern Conference.
- Grizzlies (4-0): The Memphis grit-and-grind has risen to new levels through four games. The Grizzlies lead the NBA in scoring defense and rank second in defensive efficiency. They’ve won one shootout (105-101 over Minnesota), one slugfest (71-69 over Charlotte) and two games that were somewhere in between (97-89 and 93-81 over Indiana and New Orleans, respectfully). Throw in Memphis’ toughness and propensity to compete come playoff time, and it might not be a stretch to believe this is the Grizzlies’ year.
- Rockets (4-0): Houston might be the logical choice here. Through four games, they seem to have displayed the type of balance that would fare well in the postseason. They rank fourth in defense and fifth in offense in terms of efficiency. James Harden is an elite scorer and many predicted an MVP-caliber season for Dwight Howard this year. Even Trevor Ariza, who was signed in desperation this summer, has been great in the early going (shooting over 57%).
- Warriors (3-0): The Warriors have won their first three games by a combined 46 points. As good as Memphis has been defensively, it is Golden State that leads the NBA in efficiency, allowing a ridiculous 89.9 points per 100 possessions. An offseason of trade rumors and a max extension seem to have done a world of good for Klay Thompson, who currently leads the NBA in scoring. The Warriors are undoubtedly the sexiest pic on this list.